Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

of dear friends, on the path in which Thou wouldst have me to go. “The season has of late been uncommonly wet and cloudy; but of how little moment do seasons, or any outward things, appear in comparison of that which concerns our present peace with God, and our everlasting well-being. O ! that a deepening sense of His Divine power may be with those who are called by the Christian name, and who have tasted that the Lord is good. “The prospect to Africa is one that may be for life or death, and I would earnestly desire to be preserved from attempting to escape the appointment of Him who has an indubitable right to direct. It is awful to move, and it is awful to forbear, without full assurance of what is right, so far as poor fallible human beings may hope for such assurances. O, that I may be permitted to see some providential openings that shall, in addition to other evidence, decide the judgment of my dear friends for me, and decide my own, in Thy presence, O my God! “A person professing to have done much in the cause of Christian instruction in London, but whose appearance is far from interesting me in his favour, has called to-day. He reminds me, by his conversation, that there is, among other dangers to which poor human nature is liable, the danger of thinking that to instruct others is every thing, or at least our chief work, when we ought to feel that to have our own hearts and ways such as shall be acceptable to God is the first work, and the great preparation for being the instruments of good. For this preparation we are debtors to the redeem

[ocr errors]

ing grace of the Lord Jesus, which alone can renew us in righteousness and true holiness. In the feeling of being entirely dependent on Him for all that is good, genuine humility will dwell in the heart, and shine through the conduct and conversation.

CHAPTER XIII.

Her third Voyage to Africa—Arrival at SierraLeone—Establishes a School at Charlottee—Her Labours therein.

It was my privilege to spend the summer of 1830 with my beloved mother. Till I had this opportunity of watching her in a great variety of circumstances, and of observing her silent and continual renunciation of self, I had formed no adequate idea of the brightness and devotedness of her Christian character. Every walk, every meal, every visit bore a testimony to her deep religious feeling, which to this day speaks more powerfully to my heart than words can express. Quietly and sedulously she pursued her occupations, and accomplished more than many who had far more opportunities than herself. In whatever she felt her duty she would persevere, notwithstanding she might in its performance have to encounter hunger, cold, fatigue, and want of rest. Whilst she took a deep interest in the exertions of others, she was remarkable for silence on her own labours, unless she saw some good end likely to be answered by relating them. When it drew near the time of sailing to SierraLeone, I accompanied her to see the vessel in which her place was likely to be taken. Part of the river we had to cross in a boat, and while she was in it her natural fear of water so strongly showed itself, that I could not but contrast the great timidity which almost overcame her at that moment, with the constraining love of Jesus which caused her to anticipate, without dismay, a voyage to Sierra-Leone, in order to make known to a benighted people the unsearchable riches of Christ. Although dreading the day in which I must part, perhaps for life, from this invaluable relative, yet my soul was mercifully sustained, and instead of weeping in the near prospect of bereavement, I was led rather to be thankful for the great privilege of having been with her, and of having had an opportunity of watching her close walk with God. After accompanying her to Gravesend, we bade each other farewell in a peace and calmness which could only be bestowed by Omnipotence. Whilst memory holds her seat my heart must feel the mercy and blessing of that visit to England, fraught, however, with responsibilities; for surely that season of instruction was vouchsafed in unmerited love, and fruit from it will be expected in that awful day on which we must appear before the Judge of all flesh. On the 17th of 10th month my precious mother sailed from Gravesend in the company of four missionaries of the Church of England, one of whom was her esteemed friend J. Raban. On reaching the Downs they were obliged to cast anchor, and very tempestuous weather succeeding, they remained in that situation for three weeks, during which time she suffered much from seasickness. A few extracts from her letters at this season may be acceptable to the reader. “Downs, 10th of 11th mo. It was a great mercy that our ship was kept so steady in the tempestuous

might of the 8th. I may thankfully acknowledge, that never in a time of danger did I feel more sensibly that through the help of Divine goodness my mind was at anchor, trusting in the infinite power and love of our Father who is in Heaven. I feel sensibly how greatly such a resource of hope and trust is needed, and desire to seek for help from day to day, in order that what shall yet be before me may be met with resignation to his will. Even the stormy sound and appearance of the sea on the first night of high wind brought feelings of awfulmess, which I desire never to forget, in the remembrance of Almighty power. That power which is able to bear down whatever is before it, whether it be by winds or waves, or other destructive elements in nature. ‘Who would not fear Thee, O Lord of Hosts, for to Thee doth it pertain to fulfil all Thine own infinite and wise designs, whether in the way of judgment or of mercy. 17th. Be not afraid for us. We are still savoured with preservation, though detained ; and since I wrote last we have had higher winds than we had before experienced. I feel, indeed, cause of thankfulness, even for the dangers we have suffered. These have been the instruments, in the hand of Infinite Goodness, which have led me into a nearer sense of the beneficent care of Him who comprehends in His view even the minutest points of creation, and who still extends the consoling language of “Fear not.' Although constitutionally much alive to a sense of danger, and naturally anxious that all should be done that can be to guard against it, I have, I may thankfully acknowledge, been permitted to enjoy much consolation; and often during the windy nights a sense of

« AnteriorContinuar »